Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:56 pm
For many people it is a horror: centipedes or millipedes in the apartment. Even if the specimens living in this country cannot be dangerous to humans, they still cause a certain disgust. One simply does not want to have the many-footed crawlers in its four walls. Yet the animals are quite useful. Their presence most likely indicates other problems with insects in the house. These should be worked on as a matter of priority.
Millipedes in the home
Millipedes and their centipede relatives belong to the so-called Arthropoda, i.e. arthropods. Although there are highly poisonous species of these animals in the tropics, those found in northern Europe are largely harmless. The problem is rather that their many legs and their nimble way of locomotion cause certain fears. At the same time, these insects are not interested in humans. Although they are always hunting prey in buildings, they are only interested in other insects. On their menu are mainly:
If centipedes or centipedes appear in an apartment, this is a clear indication that some of the insects listed above can be found there. Since all arthropods have a very high food requirement, one must even assume that a relatively large number of spiders or silverfish have taken up residence. Only then the apartment becomes interesting for the hunters. If you want to get rid of these uninvited guests, you have to fight the cause of their presence and not them.
Note: Millipedes and centipedes never appear in large flocks. Usually there are only one or two animals that nestle in your own four walls and go hunting there.
Since arthropods are sporadic indoors, you might naturally get the idea to kill them as soon as they come into your sight. For example, they can be easily beaten to death with a shoe. But basically this is not a good idea. Strictly speaking, they are beneficial insects that eat exactly what we generally like to call vermin. They are almost like an animal exterminator that does its work for free. The best thing to do is to try to catch a centipede in your home with the help of a glass and a piece of paper, and then release it back into the open – as far away as possible from the building you live in.
Note: Arthropods are amazingly fast and lively, which makes them hard to catch. You inevitably have to move very quickly while being careful not to hurt yourself in the rush.
Chasing away centipedes
If you want to drive away the uninvited guests, you have to make their stay miserable. In other words, without a sufficiently large number of prey animals and without an environment that tends to be warm and humid, the animals will soon look for another hunting ground. Home remedies from grandma’s time are usually relatively ineffective against the so-called vermin in the house. This is especially true in the case of a very heavy infestation. In the case of ants, ant traps from the specialist trade often help. Silverfish can usually only be controlled with chemical aids. If silverfish and cockroaches occur in very large quantities, one often has no choice but to call the exterminator, who then eliminates them. In general, it is better to do everything possible to prevent these animals from spreading in the first place. As so often, prevention is better than cure.
The prey of millipedes and centipedes usually spread in the apartment for two reasons: It’s nice and warm in there, and there’s also plenty of food. Therefore, one should follow a few basic rules, which can be understood as preventive measures:
- Never leave food or leftovers lying around in the open.
- always throw kitchen waste into a closable container
- pay great attention to hygiene and wipe away even the smallest pieces of food
- ventilate well even in winter
- Seal cracks and crevices, especially in the masonry and at the window.
These measures do not give a hundred percent guarantee, but they drastically reduce the probability that vermin will settle in your home. Most of the time they are also very easy to implement. In any case, getting rid of the animals is much more difficult and often quite complicated.
Millipedes and centipedes originally come from the tropics. Therefore, the species that are native to our country also love a warm and humid climate. This is also the reason why millipedes or centipedes are often found in the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen. Here, the living conditions are simply right for these animals. That is why it is of great importance to air the bathroom and the bedroom well. Ventilation is something like a guarantee that arthropods will no longer feel comfortable in these rooms and will eventually leave. It also creates a better indoor climate, which is good for us humans and prevents mold growth. By the way, mold is something that attracts many pests almost magically.